|University of California, Berkeley|
|Directory News Site Map Home|
Key to families | Table of families and genera
This text currently parallels The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition that is now available at the University of California Press.
Text appearing in blue on this page will not appear in the printed book; it will be displayed only on the Web. Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Annual, perennial herb, unarmed, generally hairy.
Stem: prostrate to erect.
Leaf: subpalmately compound or generally odd-1- pinnate; stipules ± fused to petiole, entire or deeply cut; leaflets 3, generally dentate near tip.
Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, raceme, generally umbel- or ± head-like, 1–many-flowered.
Flower: calyx lobes ± equal or not; corolla yellow or purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 free.
Fruit: indehiscent, reniform or generally spirally coiled 1.5–8 turns (or sickle-shaped or straight), generally prickly.
83 species: Medit to w&c Asia; several cultivated, naturalized in warm temperate. (Greek: Medice, now Media, Asia Minor, source of alfalfa) Medicago muricata possibly naturalized in Carrizo Plain.
Unabridged references: [Small & Jomphe 1989 Canad J Bot 67:3260–3294]
1. Fr 1-seeded, reniform, not prickly, black; flower 2–3 mm ..... M. lupulina
1' Fr 1- to several-seeded, spirally coiled (or straight to sickle-shaped), prickly or not, tan or gray to black; flower 2–11 mm
2. Perennial, generally erect; corolla 6–11 mm, violet or violet- to yellow-green (yellow); fruit not prickly ..... M. sativa
2' Annual, generally prostrate, decumbent, or low; corolla generally 2–7 mm, yellow to orange-yellow; fruit prickly or not
3. Fr not prickly, ± 1–1.5 cm wide ..... [M. scutellata]
3a. Stipules generally divided ± to base into a cluster of bristles ..... [M. orbicularis]
3a' Stipules dentate ..... [M. scutellata]
3' Fr generally prickly, < 1 cm wide
4. Stipules generally entire to ± dentate; plant hairs generally dense
5. Lvs densely hairy; fruit sparsely hairy ..... M. minima
5' Lvs, fruit hairy, often glandular-hairy (or fruit glabrous) ..... M. rigidula
4' Stipules deeply toothed or cut; plant hairs generally ± 0 to sparse (strigose in M. praecox)
6. Lflet generally with dark central spot, obovate to obcordate, length ± = or 1–2 × width; leaf pinnate or subpalmate; stipules generally cut 1/4–1/2 width
7. Lflet generally obcordate, length ± = width; leaf pinnate or ± palmate; fruit a loose spiral, glabrous ..... M. arabica
7' Lflet obovate (obcordate), length 1–2 × width; leaf pinnate; fruit generally a tight spiral, sparsely (densely) hairy ..... M. truncatula
6' Lflet without dark central spot, generally wedge-shaped or obovate to obcordate, length 1–2 × width; leaf pinnate; stipules generally cut ± >= 1/2 width
8. Lflet generally 10–20 mm, generally glabrous; corolla 3.5–6 mm; CA-FP; common ..... M. polymorpha
8' Lflet 3–10 mm, generally strigose; corolla 2.5–4 mm; NCoRI, CaRF, SN, SnFrB, SCo; uncommon ..... M. praecox
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.